IIRON, Illinois People’s Action, SOUL,
Lakeview Action Coalition and Northside POWER
For Immediate Release—November 28, 2012
For more information, contact: Erica Hade, 312.343.0322 (mobile)
Kristi Sanford, 773.456.4024 (mobile)
Illinois Senate Passes SB 282
Bill Provides Information to Help Make Tax System Fair to Everyone
SPRINGFIELD, IL—Today, SB 282, the Illinois Corporate Disclosure and Responsibility Act passed the Illinois Senate. The measure was sponsored by Senate President John Cullerton and Senators Heather Steans and Michael Noland.
“It’s high time we review corporate incentives and breaks to ensure that our policies encourage growth while maintaining fundamental fairness and accountability to taxpayers,” said Cullerton. “This legislation can help to provide the legislature with a quantitative metric to evaluate our tax code and the need for business tax breaks and incentives.”
According to the Illinois Department of Revenue, two-thirds of corporations pay no Illinois corporate income tax at all. Yet our current system hides the real impact of tax breaks and loopholes for big corporations and special interests—even from state legislators. This is crucial information that the voters and public officials need to make informed tax policy decisions.
“Government should be as transparent as possible,” said Majority Leader Representative Barbara Flynn Currie. “The better informed policy makers are the better public policy decisions they make.” It is likely that the house will vote on SB 282 next week.
SB 282 is simple legislation that provides transparency by requiring all publicly-traded corporations to disclose the amount of corporate income taxes they pay to the State of Illinois. The Secretary of State would disclose this information to the general public on the Internet a full two years after the fact.
To have an equitable tax system where everyone pays their fair share, it is essential that corporations disclose this information. If big corporations that can afford it don’t pay their fair share, that puts the burden on small business and families who can’t afford it. With two-thirds of corporations paying no corporate income tax in Illinois, that tax contributes less than 10% of total state taxes and fees compared to personal income taxes and sales taxes that make up about 80% of the total, according to FY2012 projections by the Governor’s office (http://www.state.il.us/budget/2012%20Three%20Year%20Projection.pdf).
“It’s just not right that most corporations don’t pay any Illinois corporate income taxes, while ordinary people are playing by the rules and paying their share,” says Rev. Marilyn Pagán-Banks, IIRON President. “Everyone should be playing by the same rules and paying their fair share.”